Category Archives: Social Commentary

Live in the Moment. Learn From History. Forge A Better Future.

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“The mere imparting of information is not education” – Carter G. Woodson

As I look up quotes about the future, there are a lot of people who say it in several different ways, but the gist is ….”Don’t look to the past or worry about the future…. live in the moment.” You know those quotes that I am talking about don’t you?

Because you can’t change the past and you can’t predict the future, and so on, so it’s best to just go day by day. But the way these days are going since Trump’s inauguration, it’s been really hard to not worry about the future. You have supporters, in my opinion, blindly agreeing with anything to an absolute fault, and then you have angry non-supporters, in my opinion, who literally think we are the verge of WWWIV. Is it me or does that not seem like an exaggeration?

So today, I decided to bump thinking about right now, I want to think about the past.

Not necessarily looking into “better days”, but it is Black History Month. In my 3 years of blogging, I have never written a “black history” post. To some extent, writing about black history is over kill in February and I prefer to mention or write about past leaders and heroes when it is relevant to things going on and not just in a particular month. And people make this argument all the time. That black history should be celebrated every day or incorporated throughout the year in American History.

However, there is a place for separating out a time to celebrate black history just as it is important as to have a museum completely dedicated to black history. It is important for others, non-blacks, to learn our history, but it’s about more than that. The celebration of black history reminds black people that their lives matter, not to sound cliché. That years of slavery which completely ripped our families apart and tore our identities from us simply based on the color of our skin was wrong, and that we are meant for more.

Now, I am sure there are some people, even black people, who are out there thinking I shouldn’t focus on the negative. That we have “overcome” and “arrived” so dwelling on the past doesn’t improve anything.

So yeah….

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When people, and by people I am actually talking about experts, talk about trauma, there is this thing called generational trauma that we know is handed down, from generation to generation. When we look at Black Americans, this trauma didn’t stop at slavery. We haven’t had 200 years to “get over” it.

….Reconstruction happened…

…Jim Crow happened….

….The Civil Rights Movement happened….

…The crack “epidemic” and the mass incarceration of black lives happened…

….Then the first Black President happened….

I am just going to stop there, because we are still unpacking the last 8 years of the Obama presidency and what impact that will have on Black Americans. (i.e. Police and Race relations, the rise of hate groups, etc. )

Talk about some serious ish, and check this though… this is just a few of the popular and national things that occurred. Who knows of the struggles and successes that happened across America from the back woods to the larger cities? The role of the church, sports, the rise of the single parent household, and the list goes on. Because of these major events, we often talk about the resiliency of Black Americans to go through so many ups and down and still accomplish amazing things. So for me…learning about the lives of scientists, artists, writers, educators, athletes, mathematicians who broke barriers… I am here for it EVERY February. It’s cathartic. Because as a reminder for those who don’t understand, every time that I am mistreated or terrorized, because of the color of my skin, the trauma comes back to me subconsciously. That there is something about me that is wrong about the color of my skin, not because I believe it, but there will always be people who believe it and act on it.

For every mistreatment I experience, I am not being beat, harassed or killed but my ancestors experienced it in a way I could never know or imagine. Which means I started this blog all wrong about not being able to deal with the present. I can’t even begin to imagine what my ancestors had to go through day in and day out.

So yes, you can imagine if I feel this way about myself, I am very tired of people complaining about Trump all day and all night. It really is not accomplishing anything. Like at all.

As I sit here and write this piece, families across central and south Texas are experiencing raids from Federal immigration agents. Parents, who are here illegally in the country, do have some rights and have children in this country who are legal citizens. It’s hard not to see the correlation between these families and my ancestors. Separating children from their parents is an irreversible trauma that Black Americans are still dealing with so of course I wouldn’t want another family to experience this. Now, I know being in this country illegally is not ideal. I am not really here for that either, just like many other Americans, but we have to go about this is in a better way. We have to be better. The scariest part is that people are just denying that it is happening for no other reason than they just don’t want to believe the truth.

You can read about it here, here and here.

When you separate families, you never know if they will be reunited. History will be lost. Identities forgotten. Something that only Black History couldn’t magnify more by the stories of countless black heroes who don’t know their history.

A man, born a slave, freed upon emancipation, worked in salt furnaces and coal mines in West Virginia for several years to earn money. In 1872, he made his way east to Hampton Institute, a school established to educate freedmen and their descendants, where he worked to pay for his studies. In 1881, the Hampton Institute president Samuel C. Armstrong recommended this to become the first leader of Tuskegee Institute, the new normal school (teachers’ college) in Alabama. He led the institution for the rest of his life, more than 30 years.

This was Booker T. Washington. My favorite black history story. Attending Tuskegee University will always be the best years of my life. Being Black. Surrounded by Blackness. Learning enough Black History to last a lifetime. But there is a line in his famous book, “Up from Slavery”, that can be seen as insignificant, but rings a harsh truth to our history:

“Of my ancestry, I know almost nothing.”

As many other slaves who were free and forced to begin a life in a land stripped of their identity and heritage. It’s important to celebrate and learn our history, because for many of us, it is all the history we’ve got. And to build a better future, we must know our identity, who we are, to forge a better future.

M/P

Not My Jesus: My Very Christian View on the Muslim Ban

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“We must remember that the test of our religious principles lies not just in what we say, not only in our prayers, not even in living blameless lives – but in what we do for others”
Harry Truman

I am a Christian. I love Jesus. I am scared for America.

I never thought about whether people were upset or protesting during the Crusades until this weekend. To see “armies of Christians from Western Europe respond to Pope Urban II’s plea to go to war against Muslim forces in the Holy Land. “ – (source) . Do you think there was extreme outrage by any of the Christians at the time?

The executive order to temporarily ban visa holders from the 7 countries: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen has sent shock waves through this country and across the globe. There are a number of reasons it just doesn’t make sense. There are a number articles that detail the countries selected for the ban did not include the Islamic extremists who have been a part of the major terrorist attacks:

“None of the perpetrators of the major US terrorist attacks carried out in the name of Islam in the past 15 years have come from the nations on that list. In fact, the country home to the biggest number of terrorists who have carried out successful attacks inside the US is the US itself.” – (Source)  and (source) 

So let’s just be really clear, is this really about safety? ISIS is a problem. Islam is not. I am totally okay with the destruction of extremists of any kind, from any religion, sect, ethnicity, you name it. Let’s crush the threat. I am no pacifist. But neither is my God.

I had to stop and think about something. I am currently reading Jeremiah, a book from the bible, that details the destruction and impending captivity Yahweh (God) inflicted upon his own, chosen people for their complete, utter disobedience and disregard for his law. Not to mention their incessant participation in idolatry that was occurring in Judah and Jerusalem. Like… do you understand what I am saying? God used destruction against his OWN people, but not just for any old reason. Through the bible, he used war, pestilence to show his will, strength and love. Talk about some tough love, right. So of course, it’s cool to kill people, discriminate against people who don’t believe in God the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit?

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Throughout time, Christians have found numerous ways to inflict war against whole groups of people. Yet, no one has been successful in completely wiping an entire race. (Caveat: I know there is probably one example, but you get my point… think about it). The bible tells Christians that we will grow, live and be surrounded by “tares” a.k.a. no-believers, but we are supposed to be a light, not this BEACON OF DARKNESS. Like what are you people doing? Christianity has nothing to do with the mistreatment of whole religious groups.

This ban smells like Islamophobia and just appearing to do something to fight against ISIS when in fact what has been done is completely missing the mark AND allowing us to become a bigger target from real extremist threats. Throughout the bible, God used “foreigners”, some who were believers and non-believers, for his purpose based on their heart which he intimately knows.

And here’s the other thing, empathy is important, but not about this. I am a firm believer that trying to walk in someone else’s shoes is important and having a positive experience with a marginalized group makes you more willing to speak up for them. However, you don’t need a warm and fuzzy experience with a Muslim to understand why the complete disregard for the people who are being detained. It’s like lumping all Catholics and Christians as a breeding place for sexual abuse. There is a long list, which continues to grow, of Christian leaders of all races engaging in that type of behavior, but we’re not banning every priest and Christian pastor from going to schools or having youth programs at their church. That would be ludicrous, but to some extent could be useful to save our young boys and girls who get abused. But there are so many more who do positive things for kids, so we have to be vigilant and strategic to protect our kids from people like that.

So let’s work on the ISIS problem, it is not a Muslim problem. We cannot unilaterally discriminate against all Muslim countries. Now, people are talking about the fact Muslim counties in which Trump has investments, but including them doesn’t change it though. Let’s include Saudi Arabia, which would probably never happen, we would still be having the same conversation. Don’t fall for that distraction conversation. Don’t.

Some people may be reading this and saying that there was no mention of Christianity as part of the reason for initiating this ban. But as the Republican Party, which I am a part of some days, they are using their beliefs as a basis for every decision that they make and I have just had enough, because you do not own his Holy name. Neither do I really, it stands on its own, but I will not stand idly and allow people to continually misuse it. It is time that the Christians who are standing idle while watching the bastardization of Christianity to justify these actions in these United States America to stand the heck up! We wouldn’t let a non-believer paint such an ugly picture of God the Son, why are we letting those who profess his name act as such?

As a group of people, we cannot allow this. I am not sure what is more frustrating, the complete discrimination of a whole group of people or people standing behind a shroud of Christianity to cover their bigotry. Either way, you will not use my Jesus in this way.

Luke 9: 52-56

“… And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”

55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.”

M/P

Living in An American Fairy-tale? Time To Grow Up

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“The hardest part about growing up is letting go of what you were used to, and moving on with something you’re not.” – Lyrikal

Growing up is hard. Things are never what they seem. You can kind of  live in a fairy tale, seeing life the way your parents kind of want you to. But as you get older you realize things are not as they seem.

Everyone is not your friend nor do they have your best interest at heart. Your parents aren’t the worse thing ever or vice versa, they are not the perfect people you thought they were. The realizations aren’t all bad. Like learning that those vegetables you used to hate actually taste pretty good and you really do need to eat more of them. Your parents weren’t lying to you.

Growing up was something I always wanted to do before I was ready. My mother reminded me often to not rush growing up. As I grew older, I learned that she was right. More importantly, while I was rushing to grow up, I learned is that I got to live in my fairy tale much longer than most.

Some kids don’t get to live in this fairy tale ever or very long. They come from very traumatic and abusive backgrounds. They get a tough reality check from almost birth. These kids have to grow-up fast, and it’s sink or swim.  They don’t get to complain, because what’s the point? They have to accept their pain and punishment, because who knows when the next traumatic event happens.

So, how does this relate to America?

For many Americans, they are finally growing up as it relates to America. Seeing America for what it is. It’s always been the same, but how it manifest itself is always changing.

The ones in power get to make the rules. We’ve had a few shiny moments. But often those in power are preying on the weaker, abusing natural resources for personal gain, and using that power to push their ideals forward with no consideration of certain people.

The Republican Party, of late, always seem to be quite aware of this and in national politics are a little more vocal about ensuring their best interests happen against all odds, and to some extent, can you blame them? Since they live in this reality, the last 8 years would have been hard on them. 8 years of Barack Obama where ACA was passed, gay marriage was legalized, and the economy improved under a non-Republican. Holy mother of WTF?

If liberals were less idealistic at times and awake to how America truly works they would have been getting their knives ready, because the GOP, no matter who the candidate was going to be, Trump or not, they were coming for the jugular.

Now, this is hard for me to say as someone who used to be in love with all things America (told you I lived in a fairy-tale). It is still a noble thing to be an American, to be born American, but how we go about life in politics is no longer noble.

We really have to start the conversation there.

We have to grow up and get it back to being noble. People still believe that most politicians go into politics from a good place. This could be true, but the system consumes you and spit you out a different person. I don’t care what anyone says about Hillary. I think people fail by talking about her like she was this young, wide-eyed law graduate with ideals of making this country better. At one point in time, she probably did. But after 30 years of being involved in the political game, she couldn’t help but be tainted by it.

And somewhere along the way, enough Americans convinced themselves that Donald Trump, who was not a seasoned politician, wasn’t tainted by the system. But he comes from the system, business, that majorly taints the political system. Dollar dollar bills ya’ll.

At first, I didn’t really get what “Make America great again” meant for Trump. People always assume that he is talking about when people of color, liberties for women were oppressed. Sometimes I believe he’s referring to era of American monopolies when one person completely controlled the market and working conditions and treatment of employees was poor. Trump and Rockefeller would’ve been best friends. That is the America Trump wants. But I digress.

Back to seeing America for what it is.

Since the election, I have been surrounded by people who were truly traumatized by Trump’s election and people who were not surprised. Now, this is my experience so hear me out.

The people who were traumatized, all white. Caucasian. Not one single black friend or family member was truly surprised or traumatized by the election (that I know of).  Yes, black people are like those children who grow up in trauma. Even black people who are born with a better station in life feel the pains of race (unless they are rich enough to lie to themselves). We aren’t complaining about Trump, because anything can happen when it comes to us in America.  When you’ve spent years seeing things happen unfairly right before your eyes or receive mistreatment simply because the color of your skin, it isn’t surprising a man could win on divisive rhetoric.

So it was no surprise that my Facebook timeline was full of people of color commenting on all the white woman who finally woke up to what America is. It has ALWAYS been this way. Listen to when I say this, it is nothing new. But here’s the thing, we can’t get upset at people who are in the ivory tower and they didn’t know they were up there. Once they recognize it, do we want them to stay up in the tower? No, we want them to come on down and join us.

The need for solidarity was important for many people this past weekend who have finally grown up to see what America is. But just like Trump can’t make America great again and turn back the clocks, every one whose eyes have been open can’t want the America that it was, because you were wrong. When people say they are fighting back, let’s be sure we understand what we are talking about.

Citizen participation

Citizen participation is necessary …. but it has always been and will always be, not just because you are unhappy with what’s going on at the moment. Understanding different perspectives and keeping them in the forefront is important. Speaking about your thoughts and beliefs so someone can correct you, and this goes for all people, is important. Each of us has a weak spot or bias. Lately, I have allowed myself to listen and be educated by Liberals on their ideals, their hesitations and frustrations. I don’t always like or agree with what they have to say, but I am not acting like a child with my fingers stuck in my ears. I am adulting. It’s not going to be easy, but that is the only way to push America forward. I am ready. Are you?

America… Voting Isn’t Enough

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“There is a lot of mediocrity being celebrated, and a lot of wonderful stuff being ignored or discouraged.” – Sean Penn

Yep, I said it.

Let me first say that I am happy that people are voting, I really am, but something has really been annoying about this whole election from two different angles.

For one, people who say:

“I am not voting, because we have TWO bad candidates”

And for people saying:

“I voted! Voting is the most important thing I can do”

No, no, and a really big NO to the second one.

I have tried to restrain from sharing my frustrations about both of these sentiments, because for some reason I feel like I am being a negative Nancy. But the more I marinated on these statements, the more I felt convinced of my perspective.

If you have a problem with both candidates, you know that you are part of the problem, if you’re only engaged at this point in the process.

I am not saying that Bernie Sanders would be doing any better than Hillary, but for liberals who don’t particularly want Hilary, if you weren’t out there pushing for him and his movement, he was a pretty good alternative. Otherwise, shut up and Vote for Her.

I really wanted Kasich to win the Republican nomination, but he didn’t. And to be honest, I step back and see Trump as the candidate of my former (sort of) party, and it is part of my fault. I did not volunteer in the primary election and take the campaign of Donald Trump seriously, and for that I am sorry.

If you don’t like Hilary or Trump, what have you personally done besides take your ass out to the polls. Like seriously. Did you canvass? Did you make calls? Have you ever in your life?

People need to hear this. People need to keep saying this till they understand.

There are ways to change the candidates in our political process, but you have to be engaged to do so. There are too many of us that are convinced that are voice doesn’t matter, but the Tea Party HAS PROVED THIS TO BE WRONG. The Tea Party, in the past, has completely changed the outcome of statewide elections and now has a Presidential candidate with the help of evangelical conservatives. Their insistence on coming together and making their voice heard…. it worked ya’ll. It didn’t happen overnight either. This has been brewing since 2009.

They have literally taken over the Republican Party and people still have the audacity to say things can’t change. Oh, they can. We have ALL seen it. Now, this doesn’t mean they have enough power to win the election, but it was enough to get a candidate to win the nomination based on some sound fiscal policies, but completely combined with racist, bigoted and archaic policies as well.

On to point two, voting is just simply not the most important thing you can do. It’s just not. Not even a little bit. And I feel weird writing about this, because I want people to vote. But, I want you to see the importance of it, but it should be paired with something else besides simply casting a vote.

What else are you doing in your community?

What other conversations are you having with people outside of your comfort zone?

What are you doing beyond yourself?

Anything? I literally mean anything!?!

Now, I have written about how people in Austin love animals, especially their dogs, almost to a fault. The community will come out and save animals when we have a disaster such as a flood. It drives some people insane, and rightfully so, because it’s like, “What about people?!?” But I can respect people with different passions if they are committed and are contributing to it.  Similarly to focusing on the arts. There is a place for it. You want to advocate for those things you do that.

Our future, our kids, are the most important thing to me, therefore, I invest my time, money and effort towards them. I volunteer with different organizations to make sure I am not only giving to the kiddos, but also to kiddos that look like me, whether it’s young girls/women of all shapes, colors and sizes or children of color of different ethnicities. I am not here to say everyone should do the same, but whatever “community” you care about, you need to give some time to it. I see many of my counterparts investing in the justice system. I see my counterparts investing in the health and wellness of others. I also see counterparts investing in themselves professionally for a time to make a better place for themselves in order to do better and give back.

We are all at different places in our life, but if you are doing nothing more than waking up and breathing for your own good…You are not doing enough.

The bible says “Judge not, lest you be judged”, so I am not here to be judge-y…. But if all the time and effort you have is at the polls and vote, and you don’t work 2 or 3 different jobs, struggling to survive than you are really missing the mark. And it’s sad. This is one of reasons people don’t have a global view of the world or people continue to live with biases.

Do you think the world will just shape itself and doesn’t need any help?

The reality is if you are doing nothing you might be a little more scared about Hilary or Trump more than others. Yes, I know I sound condescending, but it’s the truth.

What you don’t do, is just as important as what you do.

Making money is important. Being happy is important.

But just voting is not enough.

M/P

 

Media, Do Your Damn Job

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“Education is our only political safety. ” – Horace Mann

The first presidential debate happened.

I went to bed uninspired, and woke up with a burning fire in my chest.

I sort of want to rail on Trump and say how I was actually impressed with Hillary, but I am going to say that I am really mad at the media. (I can’t help it ya’ll.) They really do have the capacity shape and change minds and do it in a non-partisan way, but they refuse to just spit facts.

I think that even if people think the media tends to lean to the LEFT (with the exception of Fox News and a few others) the reality is at the end of the day, ALL media just simply cares about making its viewers happy.

When the debate was over, there was no commentator on the channel that I was watching that made any clear references to the errors and blatant misquotes by Donald Trump.

Tom Brokaw at least pointed out that both candidates avoided giving solid answers during the race discussion, but we didn’t expect much from an old white man and woman about race. I did however expect someone to be like, did you hear some of the errors he said in his talking points?  Instead, we got a lot of “he kept his base tonight” or “Trump is held to a different standard”. Well, no shit Sherlock, because you all are holding him to a different standard too and refusing to be more critical in the job that you all have been foolishly given.

The reality is the general public, who probably didn’t pay attention in history class or go to law school, may not understand how big of a deal that not only was Trump promoting a practice, “Stop and Frisk”, that is discriminatory, but it really is not THE REASON violence and crime went down in New York City.

Not to mention throughout the debate there were clear instances in which he did not articulate an identified plan and seemed ill informed about topics. Not an exaggeration or a bias. I know that I have had more in-depth conversations about trade than his one broken record about our “jobs cannot leave”. We get it. That resonates with everyone, especially those of us, who know people who lost jobs in America for their industry moving overseas.

I was sitting at home in complete shock. But more frustrated at how the media really didn’t harp on his clear errors as soon as the debate was over. Maybe people would’ve just turned their TV off and that’s okay. It’s better than not critically analyzing the debate in it’s entirety.

Although there might have been a ton of people tuning in for the debate, everyone is still competing for first place for viewership, and to me it shows.There needs to be real discussion that Hillary was informed about topics, and her being informed makes her seem like a politician which apparently is what everyone wants to avoid.This is why Trump won the Republican primary, because he didn’t sound like a politician. But SOMEONE needs to remind people that there comes a point where you need to be polished, have solid points and share them. Being President is not about sound bites and one liners that sound good.

I am glad that Hillary made it clear that the world and their leaders are watching and I am sure that they are laughing at us. There are people who don’t understand how important our relationships around the world matter with TRADE and the ECONOMY. All they really care about is stopping “those people” from coming into our county.

Although, I am not a fan of Hillary, I really wish I had the opportunity to choose between Kasich or Rubio (maybe even Cruz, I know scary) AND Hillary, their knowledge and experience hurt them on the campaign trail and it is scary that it could factor into whether Hillary will win or not. Because sounding like a politician, i.e. having real answers, is apparently a bad thing.

People, other than those on Hillary’s campaign, need to remind people that if they want to “make this country great again”, you actually have to know how to run the country. But who is holding Trump’s feet to the fire besides Hillary supporters?

Everyone who has a pen and pad, laptop or a voice, needs to speak up.

If you cannot prepare for a Presidential debate, which he clearly didn’t, then how are you going to prepare for meetings for our country?

I hate meetings with a passion, but when I am in charge of one, I prepare for the meeting, draft my talking points, and I can speak off the hip just as good, if not better than most, but that’s not the point.

Trump is a second-rate boyfriend getting first-rate attention. He ain’t even trying to win our heart, and he just knows we’re not paying attention to see his errors and you are going to love him anyway even when you shouldn’t.

And for those who actually care and like political debate, I am happy Hillary had to run against Bernie Sanders. She is more polished than when she debated Bernie, but it is unfortunate that we will not have more policy discussions in this presidential race unless we get a moderator with some major kahunas. Hillary will not be able to fully express her vision and it be questioned intelligently as any good politician should have to do.

I am sure many forget that Mitt Romney kind of won the first debate in 2012, because Barack Obama phoned in that day and sounded like a law school professor with his long-winded answers. Many Americans felt that he was acting like he had the next election in the bag. It was debate two that America was reminded of who Obama was. Mitt forced him to come with his A game after a good showing in the first debate. Hillary’s policy and standings will not be challenged and that worries me too. Her responses on race weren’t good enough to me, but they sounded better than Trump trying to promote Stop and Frisk.

Media, it is our responsibility to do our job. Ask questions, educate, commentate and question some more. The WSJ published an excellent article about what debate used to be, check it out here. It kind of makes me think about the role of media used to play.

I don’t want a biased view. I want a job well done.

Do your damn job. (oh, and everybody Vote)

M/P

This is America

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Every time I fly out of Austin, I park my car in the extended lot, it’s not too expensive (yet). Parking at this spot requires me to ride on a shuttle to and from the airport. Now, I travel enough to notice, that unless I sit next to someone or a person of color sits next to me, a white person never sits next to me on the bus ride back. I have noticed this for 3 years. On the way into the airport, I may have had a handful sit next to me, but on the flight home and shuttle bus back to my car, a white person never sits next to me. Every single time they take every other seat available, even by some questionable people, before they dare sit next to me. But I have had enough experiences to let this roll off my back until a trip back from Kentucky after my favorite Uncle’s funeral just two months ago. It was late, and I was tired, and dealing with my uncle’s funeral was draining emotionally. As I got on the shuttle, I sat in my usual seat, and it began to fill in. All but one seat was available, that seat was next to me or so we thought. The driver was about to close the door when another person jumped on the bus, a middle aged white man, got on and put his stuff up. I told myself, he’s going to stand. The only clear seat available was next to me. The bus driver pointed in my direction, and told him that he had to have a seat. And the next thing that happened was completely unexpected.

An older, white-haired man was covering two seats and it was hardly noticeable, but this man found it. He made the older gentleman quite uncomfortable and sat next to him and another lady, and was squeezed very tightly. Then I felt a number of people’s eyes on me. Especially, the old white man who was completely uncomfortable. I couldn’t tell if his eyes were supposed to comfort me, if he was ashamed, or if he had the same thoughts as the man who refused to sit next to me, that he wouldn’t come sit next to me either. I like to think that his look was of regret that he didn’t choose to come sit next to me in the first place. I luckily was the first stop and got off the bus quickly, and I walked to my car, threw my luggage inside, and I began to weep.

That even when I am tired, I mean I was really tired, and sad, and all of the things I was going through with family members and the bullshit at work that at that very moment, I had to be reminded that I am black and there are people who think less of me, who are afraid of me, who’d rather be uncomfortable than sit next to me. This is my life as a black person in America. This is my life as a black person in one of the most “liberal” places in America. No matter if it’s a good day or a bad day, these experiences happen regularly for no good reason. I know that life isn’t fair, but if we can talk about struggles with our weight and body issues or other insecurities that to some extent we might have control over, but I can’t talk about this. Then we might as well be living in 1776.

I wish that the white people who are in power, who are at the table and have the money to make decisions that affect my black life can be like the white people I know and love, like my best friend, and the best two roommates I have ever had, my favorite teacher, my favorite mentor besides my mother and my Aunts. I wonder why can’t all white people look through their lens, and see me as a human being.

I am sure there will be someone reading this and think maybe he sat there, because it was closer. That it couldn’t be about race. You have been conditioned, as have I, by the ills of this country that I cannot talk about my race too much. Even though, because I live in America, I am often forced to think about it almost every day. But you know what…. I have decided to not feel sorry about it. I’ve been wanting to share this story even though it makes me angry, and it would make me even angrier that people might not understand or misinterpret my purpose and meaning. I’ve decided that I do not care.

Because I will remind you, this happens, every single time I ride this bus. It is not a one time deal. It isn’t a coincidence. This my friends is America.

Wake up and realize it.

Unfortunately, the only person who has is running for President of America.

M/P

Let’s Take A Look In The Mirror

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I am frustrated when breath is wasted arguing about All Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter in connection with Black Lives Matter, but another problem is slowly brewing in the black community, or maybe it’s always been there. The unspoken words that are said through the inaction of our so-called “Uppity Negroes” is simple:

Black Lives Matter… But My Black Life Matters More Than Yours

This is a sad truth that I am learning about in the black community. As my conservative upbringing is being challenged and I am becoming more familiar with the black justice movement, whether it’s the Austin Justice Coalition or Black Lives Matter. I find that many young black professionals, who are way more liberal and progressive than I am, are nowhere to be found. Young Black Professionals who grew up in way more diverse environments or predominately black areas are nowhere to be found. (I am from Lexington, Kentucky and it’s not exactly the most diverse place in the world). As I engage with more activists, I find it puzzling and wonder where are all the young black professionals are who rant and rave on their Facebook and Twitter accounts, and lament to their friends in their Groupme’s and Slack groups about Police.

Where Art thou?

Since I have moved to Austin, three years ago, a city where more black people are steadily leaving, and young black millennials don’t want to be here, I find that segment of the population, to be self-absorbed and completely out of touch with not only reality, but with the suffering of black lives in Austin and across the country.

Why so Serious?

I have been an avid volunteer for one of the largest non-profit organizations here in Austin, a predominantly white city, but the non-profit serves a high percentage of black and brown kids. Many of the children who live in Austin that are below the poverty line are Hispanic and Black. They need mentors, they need successful people who look like them, but time and time again, I am the only black volunteer. Trying to get young black professionals to give their TIME OR MONEY is like pulling teeth. But they are the first to buy tickets for any concert, ready to spend money on drinks, and go to Happy Hour after Happy Hour trying to find a significant other in a city where it is hard to do. Then the deaths of young black men and women across the country began to be more public, either filmed or sound recorded, and the Black Lives Matter Movement was born.

These same inactive millennials, they “feel” for the movement, “cry” about the movement. Because we all know a person who could’ve been Sandra Bland, Alton Sterling, or even Freddie Gray. But they don’t do anything. They don’t go to marches, don’t donate their time, and the best part is that they take the time to criticize activists for being too radical, too loud, or not creating enough solutions when the reality is that if maybe they were at the table, with all of their skills, with more educated black folks, finding solutions might be a little easier. While it is easy to blame many of the generational curses that plague the black community on others, we are still are own worst enemy.

To me, the reality is that these “Uppity Negroes”, by their inaction are saying that THEIR Black Life Matters more. I say this and I am an Uppity Negro, and proud of it. But I am in the trenches, and I want you to be there with me. I get it. When you grow up middle or upper middle class, there is a level of comfort that you enjoy, and maintaining that comfort or improving upon that comfort is your main goal. That is all our white counterparts have to worry about. Guess what? YOUR. ARE. NOT. THEM.

The reality I want to leave you with is that the comfort you hold so near and dear to your heart is made possible, because your parents or caregivers didn’t make that one mistake, didn’t have that one tragedy in their life, or whatever else it may have been that you are here, and you are not them. Trust me you are not as removed from the toils of your people as you would like to think. Because no one talks about the fact that there are very few victims of police brutality that are in the “Uppity Negro” status. It is classism at its finest, and we have to stop acting like it’s not happening. If you woke up in a different position or circumstance, you might think differently and wonder why black folks who’ve “made” it, are nowhere to be found. We spend a lot of time trying to convince people, especially white people, why all lives matter is not cool, but what we really need to do is remind black people, that when you say Black Lives Matter, saying those words mean nothing, if you do nothing.

M/P

Originally posted here on Alibix.co ‘s website.